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SWFI First Read, March 27, 2017

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QIA Sees Opportunities in Brexit

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), like many large sovereign funds such as Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), is heavily invested in the United Kingdom. In a public statement, Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani commented that Qatar expects to invest ‎£5 billion in Britain over the next five years.

BlackRock Showcases Two Index Funds for Hong Kong Mandatory Provident Fund’s DIS

Asset management giant BlackRock launched two new index funds that are designed for the Hong Kong Mandatory Provident Fund. Since 2003, BlackRock has provided fund options for the scheme. The index funds will be used under the scheme’s Default Investment Strategy (DIS). These funds will also be used as benchmarks to analyze the performance of DIS funds. The two new funds are the BlackRock World Equity Index Fund and the BlackRock World Government Bond Index Fund. The funds will track the FTSE MPF All-World Index and the Citi MPF World Government Bond Index.

New Caledonia Contemplates a Sovereign Wealth Fund

The government of New Caledonia is contemplating creating a sovereign wealth fund. New Caledonia is heavily reliant on economic support from France. The territory does have natural resources such as nickel.

Royal Dutch Shell Sells Gabon Onshore Oil Portfolio to The Carlyle Group

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China’s Central Bank Creates Macro-Prudential Management Bureau

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) created a new department to oversee and attempt to eliminate financial risks to the system. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Like its U.S. Peers, Legg Mason Seeks to Trim Costs

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Legg Mason Inc., a Baltimore-based asset manager, has announced a reduction in workforce as is prepares to streamline operations and save money. Legg Mason’s leadership commented that assets under management fell 5 % year-on-year. Legg Mason currently manages US$ 727.2 billion (as of December 31, 2018), which is down from the previous US$ 767.2 billion. CEO Joseph A. Sullivan noted that a global operating platform will centralize fund administration, IT, and other departments that work with affiliates. Sullivan did not discuss the number of layoffs expected, or specify which areas would be impacted. Legg Mason disclosed they planned to close a quarter of its exchange-traded funds in March 2019. These three ETFs include a U.S. strategy, emerging markets, and a developed markets strategy outside the U.S. However, these funds run around US$ 28 million in assets under management.

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Monetary Authority of Singapore Establishes Corporate Governance Advisory Committee

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On February 12, 2019, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revealed the creation of a Corporate Governance Advisory Committee (CGAC). CGAC was formed to advocate for good corporate governance practices among listed companies in Singapore. Bobby Chin, Director of Singapore Telecommunications Limited, will be the Chair of CGAC. According to a MAS press release, “CGAC will identify current and potential risks to the quality of corporate governance in Singapore.”

MAS formed the Corporate Governance Council (Council) in February 2017. The Council was dissolved after it pushed out a publication of its final recommendations on August 6, 2018.

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